As a help to someone new to the forum:
Grading companies make an awful lot of money because, unfortunatley, newbies to the hobby are led to believe that having coins "professionally" graded is a logical step for all better coins. Thankfully you are smart enough to ask before spending your money.
You need to understand "professionally" graded coins will fetch higher prices on eBay and online auctions if they are common dates but labeled/slabbed as having an exceptional grade (a high Mint State or high end MS grade). The general rule of thumb, as you can read on this forum in other threads, is that if a coin is not worth 150.00-200.00 already, then getting it slabbed is a waste of your money.
In general the average "really nice" and "wow" coin you find is not going to make a grade high enough to be worth a huge premium. Many people send these nice coins in and lose their money while lining grading company pockets.
You must also realize the fact that these TPGs (Third Party Grading Systems) will tell you they practice an art - not a science. What they do is subjective. Its not a science. All of this explains the fact why a coin submitted, slabbed, broken out of the slab and re-submitted to the same company is never even guaranteed its new slab will have the same grade assigned as the previous one did.
There are a lot of people out there who are automatically led to believe form seeing so many slabs on eBay etc. that slabbing is a perfect science and that the coin in the slab has that one actual grade. The reality is the grading adds an artificial value to the coin, and that value disappears as soon as the slab is removed.
Some collectors who enjoy slabs know all of the above info and enjoy collecting slabbed coins for what they are. Its a hobby. Its about fun. Just be informed so you don't end up losing money from marketing hype as many people do.
All of the above is why CCF will always tell you to buy the coin and not the slab.
Oh... how do you know if your coin is that one in a million chance it will be graded high enough to be worth a good premium? Post pictures of it to this forum asking for help in determining the grade. Ask advice about sending it in to be slabbed. As a former president of PCGS
has even said, anyone can learn to grade, it just takes handling hundreds of coins (obviously he said this in the context of handling hundreds of coins with the idea of learning to grade and compare them with other coins). We have people on this forum who will gladly help you know what the grade is likely to come back as if you send a coin in for slabbing. Plus by using the forum you won't be feeding a TPG
your hard earned cash on a gamble you might have something special.